Everything for the Builder

A. Gabrielli Constructions

Across Australia, countless business recommendations are based on word of mouth from satisfied customers, and the construction industry is no exception. With a rich history spanning over half a century, Townsville-based construction company A. Gabrielli Constructions Pty Ltd (AGC) continues to proudly serve a diverse range of government and private clients through its many commercial and industrial construction projects in North Queensland and surrounding areas.

“Being a local contractor, we put our hand to everything, and there is nothing we can’t do. We are competitively valued to the client,” says Adrian Gabrielli of the company, which takes on projects ranging in value from $5,000 all the way to $10 million. “We’re a traditional local builder and we put our hat to whatever the job is.”

Over the decades, A. Gabrielli Constructions has successfully completed many construction projects, including schools, churches, childcare centres, technology centres, art centres, correctional facilities, hospitals, police stations and much more. The company’s range of talents includes formwork, concrete construction, civil works, engineered construction, design and construction, roofing and cladding, internal fit outs, refurbishments and maintenance. As one of the oldest and most respected construction service organisations in Townsville, A. Gabrielli Constructions earned its premier position the old-fashioned way: through hard work, quality service on all projects, and trust.

“If you’re not a stand-up guy and honourable, this really isn’t the business you should be in,” comments Mr Gabrielli. “Construction is all about trust from your clients’ point of view, your suppliers’ point of view, and your trades’ point of view – that you have the ability to correctly and professionally complete a project, and have a good project that is long term and viable for the client. If you’ve got all those parameters covered, you get a good reputation, and people come towards you. It is about fostering relationships, and talking about the next job. If you keep doing the right thing, people will support you.”

Serving as the company’s Managing Director, Adrian continues to build on the foundation of quality, reliability, and professionalism set down by his late father, Angelo Gabrielli. After immigrating to Australia in 1957, Angelo dedicated himself to his craft and worked in construction and roofing before establishing A. Gabrielli Constructions just five years later, in 1962.

“I’ve been with the company for twenty-five years as an employee, and before that as a child,” says Adrian fondly. As one of nine children – four boys and five girls – he and his brothers grew up in their father’s construction company, helping out when they were kids. “It was very much a family business,” says Adrian, whose younger brother Richard also works at the business as Construction Manager. Taking over the company full-time in 1987, Adrian has grown A. Gabrielli Constructions to become one of the most successful building businesses of its size in North Queensland. One of the many reasons for the company’s success, he says, is the hands-on approach taken to projects of all sizes.

“I’m involved with all projects – I always have been – and my father was the same way,” he says. Leading a staff of fifty, Mr Gabrielli prides himself on the company’s industry-wide reputation as a problem-solver. With all applicable licences and systems firmly in place Mr Gabrielli, a carpenter by trade, insists on going to job sites and overseeing the construction process as much as possible. “At the end of the day we’ve got a particular style, and I think people appreciate how we do it,” he says. “We’re still very hands-on. I enjoy getting out there and getting dirty, when they let me.”

A focus on motivating staff, training new employees and bringing apprentices into the industry is important to the firm, as it maintains the good reputation of the construction trade. “A lot of builders become accountants and concentrate on counting the money,” he comments. “While that is an important part of the job, if you’ve lost your focus on how you do your job – and we see that a lot of big companies have lost that ability, they seem to project manage it, fill the paperwork out – but they have no idea how you put that job together.”

“A local building company is really a chameleon, and our projects depend on the workload in the district,” states Mr Gabrielli of the company’s many successful projects over the past fifty-one years. “Our licenses are focused towards government works, and we find an advantage working there, more so than in the private sector.”

In recent years, the company was part of Building the Education Revolution (BER), the Australian government’s $16.2 billion program administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). An economic stimulus package, the BER was created in response to the recent global financial crisis, and saw numerous schools, libraries, classrooms, science and language centres, sporting facilities and more constructed and refurbished.

“Certainly in the last ten years, schools have been a big part of our focus,” says Mr Gabrielli, who estimates about eighty per cent of the company’s business comes from tendered projects. “We ended-up securing about twenty jobs under the BER program, and we quite enjoyed it. We did things a little differently than most. We tried very hard to give some value, where I think a lot of big companies were just looking at the profit margin, which is a shame.”

Among the company’s many current projects are St Clare’s Burdell Stage 3 Works, Ignatius Park Year 7 Centre, and the Mt Isa Childcare and Family Centre. Like all other jobs, A. Gabrielli Constructions works towards one goal: complete customer satisfaction. For St Clare’s Burdell Stage 3 Works, the company was contracted to construct four new classroom blocks, an extension to an existing block, and take on associated external works, such as the extension of an existing car park to allow for the increasing number of students and staff over the coming years. Working on schedule, the company’s program was designed to ensure school personnel were able to maintain access to all existing roadways and carparks on all school days.

Another recent project, the Ignatius Park Year 7 Centre, is being created to accommodate the new Year 7 to secondary project scheme that has been introduced the college. As a result, facilities need to be upgraded to accommodate approximately 400 new students in the coming years. When completed, the project will see eight new classrooms, a gym, a toilet block and a covered seating area in addition to refurbishments to the tuck shop and administration building. Another ongoing project, the Mt Isa Childcare and Family Centre, will see construction including block work, timber and block internal partitions and timber roof trusses with Colorbond Custom Orb Roof sheeting.

As one of Townsville’s oldest and most established builders, A. Gabrielli Constructions has fostered long-lasting relationships with clients, local sub-contractors, and suppliers based on honesty, prompt payment and an unwavering commitment to getting the job done on-time and on-budget. With a considerable amount of work coming from return customers, the company is known industry-wide to deliver consistent quality results each and every time. Over the years, A. Gabrielli Constructions has worked on numerous successful design and construction projects, and proved time and time again its reliability, quality, knowledge of local requirements and abilities to work seamlessly and professionally with architects and clients.

Realising the importance of working with local trades and ongoing skills training, the company regularly works with apprentices to enable future trades to earn a living. And unlike some large, out-of-state construction companies who come into Queensland with their own staff and do little for the economy, A. Gabrielli Constructions endeavours to work with local and regional industry and provide employment. By recognising the importance to the economy that comes from working with locals, the company continues to foster trust, and helps keep the area strong for other local businesses, suppliers, services and equipment and technology suppliers.

“One of our focuses is that we are very clean and tidy about how we do our business,” says Mr Gabrielli. “It has to be finalised and it has to be signed-off. We pay our bills, and have excellent relationships with local suppliers and sub-contractors.”

As the head of a company that has weathered many ups and downs over the past half-century, Adrian Gabrielli has seen the effects of the Global Financial Crisis which began in 2008, yet remains optimistic about the future. “In the next two years, the market will come back,” he says. “It will be a stronger market, a different market, and we will be growing in that period.”

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July 14, 2020, 9:02 AM AEST